From: Associated Press
Published September 3, 2007 08:19 AM

Power Outage From California Heat Wave

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Dozens of cooling centers opened across California as a scorching heat wave strained the state's electrical grid and left many residents without power.


Nearly 14,000 customers were without power late Sunday, largely because of increased demand on air conditioners. Highs reached 109 degrees in Woodland Hills in the San Fernando Valley and more than 100 degrees in other parts of the state.


"Whenever it's this warm in the late evening hours and the system does not have time to cool, we're going to experience these scattered outages," said Joe Ramallo, spokesman for Department of Water and Power, which serves Los Angeles.


About 2,400 customers were left without power in the city, and 11,500 more customers suffered outages in inland and desert cities in Orange, Riverside and Los Angeles counties, officials said.


Power was restored early Sunday to about 2,600 customers in Los Angeles' Eagle Rock neighborhood. Many had not had electricity for 24 hours, Ramallo said.


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Lightning strikes on grid equipment added to the strain, authorities said.


The California Independent System Operator, which oversees the state's power grid, said no major shortages were expected through Monday. However, officials urged customers to continue conserving electricity by setting air conditioning thermostats higher and waiting to use major appliances until after dark.


The DWP said its power load peaked at 6,107 megawatts at midafternoon Friday, second only to its all-time record peak of 6,165 megawatts on July 24, 2006.


Around the state, dozens of cooling centers were open in parks, libraries, senior centers and county fairgrounds, although officials said they were sparsely attended.


© 2007 The Associated Press.


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